Appendix 3. Resources – Media and Tools for Better Futures

Career Resources

Here are a few resources for general career advice. We’ll add more foresight-specific career resources here at a later time.

For High School Students:

The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need, Daniel Pink, 2008.
This is a great short graphic novel, that any high school student might enjoy, even those that don’t like reading. It offers six aphorisms, general advice on making smart career choices. One of these, Persistence Trumps Talent, was particularly insightful for me personally. This is definitely not the last guide you’ll ever need, but it is a good first guide for many youths. Something like Johnny Bunko should be made as an animated series, as there are lots more of these good life lessons applicable to careers, and to staying relevant in a world of accelerating change. Anyone want to launch such a project at Foresight U? See Geary’s Guide to the World’s Great Aphorists, 2007, for many more great life lessons that deserve to be animated.

For College Students (and Everyone):

So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work and Love, Cal Newport, 2012.
This book offers argument and some evidence that the smartest career choice is generally to first focus on your strengths, those things that come naturally to you, that people will pay you well to do, and that add some social value, and then to pivot later into your passions, which you may not even really know until you’ve spent a good deal of time developing your strengths. This advice is the opposite of the typical career advice we hear, which is to find and follow our passions first, as in “do what you love and the money will follow.” That idealistic—and largely naive—perspective has become popular in the US since the 1960s, most notably in Richard Bolles’ What Color is Your Parachute?, 1970/2012. There is value in both strategies, of course, but the great insight of Newport’s book is that developmentally, most of us (not all of us, he notes exceptions) should start first with building masteries (marketable skills), then bridge into our passions and higher purposes later in life. Very often, we can pivot into our most enduring passions and purposes while still using many of our original masteries, employing them in new places, new ways, and with new people, and we can use the money and status of our mastery-built career to help us make that transition. Balancing these two competing values sets (masteries and passions) is always a challenge, and Newport gives great examples of people who did this balancing well, and very poorly, over their course of their lives. Recommended.

General Career Resources:

Forbes’ List of the Top 75 Websites for Your Career.

For Management Consultancies:

Start with Vault: Career Intelligence.

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